Over Price and Undersell

Real estate research abstract concept with blue roof houses and magnifier.

In a rising market, vendors can over-price with minimal risks in doing so. However, in a normal or falling market, overpricing often leads to underselling. The opposite is also true: if you price at market price, you
increase the chances of selling above market price – even if the market is falling or flat.

Vendors who list above market price often languish on the market unsold and inadvertently turn the best buyers off their home. The vendors have unintentionally set up a win/lose negotiation – I will only sell if the buyer overpays. Naturally, many buyers reject this equation.

Pre-internet, the vendor that deliberately overpriced and waited for someone to ‘pay my price’ had fewer downside risks in doing so. In the digital age, the advertised history is on record for all time.

Every property now has a digital foot print. Buyers can easily access the advertised history of properties. If your home is overpriced and unsold after a lengthy sales campaign, the educated buyers have been gifted crucial information in the negotiation process.

Understanding the fundamental (fair) market value of your property is the key to a timely sale at the best possible price.

Understanding fundamental value for your primary asset is simple in theory but challenging in practice. Putting a market value on something that is emotionally and financially precious to you is difficult. The fact that some agents will over quote in an attempt to buy the listing, combined with normal marketing movements, makes the task of establishing fair market price even more challenging.

Once you have established a fair market price for your home, you need to ask whether that is an acceptable price to you. If it’s not, you may be best served by not listing on the market at all.

A failed campaign can haunt you in the future. If the market price is one that allows you to comfortably move on, you can then list on the market for the highest offer at or above fair market price. You have set up a circumstance of a win/win negotiation.

Fair market price often creates buyer competition. The best way to attract the best buyers is to price accurately and fairly. This maximises the number of bidders for your home.


About The Author
Peter O’Malley

Peter O’Malley

Peter O'Malley has been successfully selling real estate in the Inner West since 2000. Since becoming the principal of Harris Partners, the agency has gone from strength-to-strength, increasing its market share and a significantly larger sales team. Peter's proudest achievement is in being able to offer buyers and sellers a superior selling strategy to the highly dysfunctional and flawed public auction system. Peter is the author of best-selling publications, Real Estate Uncovered and Inside Real Estate.

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